They're still not making the playoffs, but Real Monarchs won their fourth consecutive match tonight against Arizona United SC.
The 3-2 scoreline caps an excellent two-week span for the team, who had won twice in the preceding 23 matches. It also marked their first-ever road win.
Real Monarchs took an early 2-0 lead, notching their first in the 18th minute when Phanuel Kavita scored his first professional goal with a nice finish from a corner. Kavita picked up on the ball, which hadn't been headed away properly, and simply shot to the far post.
The second goal came from leading goalscorer Max Rauhofer, who pivoted at the top of the box with the ball at his feet a defender on his back before taking the lead-lengthening shot.
Some poor marking allowed Arizona United to claw their way back in as the death knells sounded on the first half, with Tyler Ruthven notching a headed goal from a free kick.
The third Monarchs goal was the most spectacular, and it looked to have been scored directly in front of a group of players from the Real Salt Lake-Arizona academy in Casa Grande. Emilio Orozco launched himself at a cross from the corner, only barely connecting with a flying volley; the ball popped up a bit in the air, and Alec Sundly took an excellent touch to send the into the back of the net.
That lead was cut to a single goal again, with Denis Chin sending a looping cross over Lalo Fernandez and to Long Tan for a simple finish.
From there, Monarchs simply gutted out the remainder of the match while still managing to create a few chances of their own. Eti Tavares, Garrett Losee, and Rauhofer all had clear-cut opportunities that were left wanting, but the result will speak for itself.